Annoyed Librarian
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Another Annoyed Librarian

Apparently I'm not the only one annoyed when the ALA Council decides to randomly crusade for social justice rather than crusade for library justice, or library issues, or whatever it is the ALA is supposed to be about. The November issue of Against the Grain (which I won't link to because it's one of those quaint publications almost no open access) published "The American Library Association and Professional Limits: The Case for Saying Less," by Steve McKinzie. McKinzie argues that: "By passing numerous political resolutions on non-library related questions, by heading the recommendations of the ALA’s Social Responsibilities Roundtable, and by indulging its desire for political relevance — by saying, in short, so many things about so many topics — the association squanders precious political capital. That’s right. Such actions inevitably undermine theALA’s unique and valuable role — its voice for librarianship and its advocacy of ...

The Library of the Living Dead

The ALA has been claiming for years that there will be librarian shortages in the future (always in the future!) because of the graying of the profession and the waves of retirements libraries will be facing. Anyone who's made the "graying" claim doesn't know my secrets, and the librarian shortage is almost certainly a myth, but there will necessarily be some retirements in the next few years, at least of those librarians who can afford to retire. In fact, we're starting to see some now. I've been talking to librarians around the country who work in libraries where others are finally starting to retire. The problem that some of these librarians are finding is that the wrong people retire, and contrary to ALA propaganda, they're not being replaced. Maybe my information is skewed by the people I know, so I'm putting the question to you. Are librarians and library workers retiring at your libraries? Are the ones who are retiring any good? And are the ones who you'd really ...

Protect Your Children from the Classics!

I don't know much about Kentucky. It seems from a distance the best thing that ever came out of Kentucky was the whiskey, in honor of which I'm currently sipping a manhattan instead of a martini. I know they also have the Creation Museum, which apparently has displays of humans interacting with dinosaurs. You can't get that sort of thing where I live. Lately though, Kentucky's been giving us the juiciest book challenges. First, there the two busybodies who violated the privacy of patron records to protect an 11-year-old girl from what amounts to a somewhat naughty comic book. Considering what I hear about 11-year-old girls today, smutty graphic novels are the least of their concerns. Until now, I've somehow missed the story about the Kentucky teacher being challenged by parents because she teaches popular young adult novels in her accelerated English classes, and the students are surprising everybody by actually reading them. At first I thought the shocking thing was that they were ...

AL for President!

Yesterday was the deadline to submit ballots if you're running for an ALA office, so I hope those poor souls out there who got sucked into the ALA maelstrom submitted their ballots on time. This year, I thought it would be a good idea to make myself a candidate for ALA President. That way I could enjoy the conferences in style! I'd get a big suite and could hold lavish parties that I could then charge to the ALA. I could have had a great 5-day party, but since the ALA meetings and conferences are being shortened to make them cheaper for people, a 4-day party will have to do. I prefer my parties drug-free, but there could be plenty of champagne, martinis, and tasty snack foods, plus maybe some gummi bears for the younger librarians. As ALA President, I could invite whom I like, so I'd invite everyone! This would be a "big tent" kind of presidency. Because librarian budgets are so hard hit these days, I'd want to do something for the impoverished librarians who can't afford ...

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